West Devon Borough Council is investing in a number of new homes to improve long term housing options for people in the Borough.  Five properties have been successfully bought under the first phase of the Government’s Local Authority Housing Fund (LAHF).

The council has agreed to buy up to three more properties under the second round of funding. To help fund the properties, the Council will provide £410,000 from developers’ affordable housing contributions.  LAHF is a government grant offered to councils to help with the pressures around placement breakdown for Homes for Ukraine guests and to support Afghan families stuck in bridging hotels.  

The first five properties in Okehampton will be offered on an affordable rent basis. They will welcome their new tenants this autumn, with the remaining properties available before spring next year.  

West Devon Borough Council's Cllr Mark Renders, Lead Member for Housing, said: “Supporting those who have been displaced by conflict is just one of the many examples of what we stand for as a community here in West Devon. We are delighted to be one of the first councils in the country to deliver homes through this funding. 

 “By investing in these new properties, we can not only support the immediate housing needs of our Ukrainian and Afghan families but build on our long-term housing supply. The investment into our own housing stock means that once the need for this type of temporary accommodation reduces, these properties will be available to support the housing needs of the Borough for many years to come.” 

The decision to invest in the new properties was made at today’s (19 September) Hub Committee meeting. At the same meeting, the decision was taken to pause plans on delivering a temporary accommodation project in Tavistock.  

The 1-2 Springhill development project will be put on hold due to various considerations including the current financial landscape and unviable timescales for delivery. The council has agreed to look at alternative options for the site and delivery of temporary accommodation; it has today agreed to the spend of £80,000 to modernise 3 Springhill for this purpose.  

Cllr Mark Renders, Lead Member for Housing continued: “While it is disappointing to pause the 1-2 Springhill project, it is important that we make sure we get the best value for money for our residents. Since the start of the project, the rise of interest rates, the war in Ukraine and impact of inflation has meant that costs and availability of materials and labour have been dramatically impacted. 

“We will continue to look at other options for the site but in the meantime, we are delighted that we will continue to develop 3 Springhill for the use of temporary accommodation. We will be looking carefully at other options so that we can expand our provision for residents who may find themselves in need of urgent housing support.”